Why outsourcing is the way to go for times of uncertainty
Due to globalization and local talent shortages, outsourcing parts of their digital initiatives has become an essential business tactic for many companies. There are various ways and degrees of outsourcing, but the bottom line is that it’s a different kind of project work, with its own unique advantages and drawbacks.
In times of disruption and uncertainty, e.g. ever since the start of the Covid pandemic, however, the benefits of outsourcing become much more pronounced than its drawbacks. In this article, we’ll dive deeper into why outsourcing is a particularly great fit for such periods of time and how businesses that decide to outsource can benefit from it.
Why outsource in times of uncertainty?
Many of the benefits of outsourcing are the same both in normal times and during periods of great uncertainty. The key difference is that, with the latter, these are exactly the features that companies are looking for, and the disadvantageous ones are often already characteristic of the disruption in question (e.g. right now issues with remote collaboration).
Here are 6 factors that make outsourcing strategies particularly well positioned for realizing companies’ digital strategies in times of disruption and uncertainty.
At a time of huge business transformations, the ability to be flexible represents a unique competitive advantage. Rather than having to lay off employees if market trends and demands shift, you can instead partner with experts for specific projects and needs, without any organizational overhead beyond that project or need.
Outsourcing allows for exactly that flexibility, whether you’re looking for help in design, marketing, development, or even more specific fields. Especially when partnering with a specialized digital agency, you’re able to get the exact amount of people with the right skills needed, and you’re even able to easily add new members to the team or let certain people off the project, depending on your needs at the time.
Another factor which often pairs with flexibility is speed. If you choose to partner with an agency, you can get a whole team of proven experts in a matter of days, without any need for elaborate vetting or onboarding. The partner agency will have already taken care of that, and their achievements and references will speak for themselves.
This also enables a faster time to market for the project, which is key to beating out the competition at a time where essentially every competitor company has a well established digital presence, or is just now implementing it.
Faster time to market will also help in case of sudden market shifts, as you’ll be able to more quickly respond to them and make the most use out of the new trends.
3. Project uncertainty
Rapidly shifting trends entail a higher degree of project uncertainty, with the scope and goals potentially changing significantly throughout the duration of the project.
As we previously pointed out, outsourcing strategies are particularly well suited for projects whose course is likely to change, thanks to the speed and flexibility offered by this working arrangement. The ability to easily add or remove personnel from the project with no strings attached goes a long way toward alleviating the concerns of scope changes down the line.
Business disruption is often a reflection of a broader, society-wide disruption. In the case of Covid, many companies have had to downsize their staff and/or budget, looking for novel ways to cut costs while maximizing the return on their investment.
With outsourcing, the only cost comes down to the fees for the work done. You’re able to avoid the overhead of hiring, onboarding and managing in-house employees, let alone other expenses such as health insurance, sick days and vacation pay.
When working with an agency, you’re typically also able to get timely replacements in case of an unexpected illness or another emergency. This contributes to the speed and efficiency so needed in times like these, and ultimately results in lower overall cost of the project with greater ROI.
5. High demand for top talent
While we’ve been seeing a rise of unemployment in certain sectors, all fields within the digital are blooming. Demand for top talent has never been higher, and digital job-seekers (and even job-holders) have more options and opportunities than ever before.
Acquiring the best in-house personnel thus becomes even more difficult with everyone competing for the top talent. And, even if you manage to hire the perfect person, chances that they switch companies (or decide to start freelancing) are proportionately higher depending on how skilled they are.
This means that it’s easier to find top talent for work on a per-project basis rather than in-house. A lot of digital experts decide to work as freelancers, especially now with the ease of remote work; but don’t forget that there can also be greater risk with freelancers than with an agency that thoroughly vets its employees.
6. Busted myths about remote work
Companies which were reluctant to outsource prior to 2020 due to the necessity of remote and asynchronous communication now no longer have any excuses. Why would you mind collaborating remotely with an outsourced team if you’re already used to communicating remotely with your in-house employees anyway?
The rise of remote work and the appeased concerns of people and companies previously inexperienced in it are making outsourcing a much more compelling approach.
Indeed, the past year and a half has proved that remote and asynchronous collaboration doesn’t come at the expense of productivity and innovation - on the contrary, it may in fact even contribute to the two; hence why a hybrid approach to work will likely become predominant even once we transition out of the pandemic.
So, in most ways, a remote partnership with a digital agency or freelancer will not differ at all from working with a full team of in-house employees - the only points where it will are the benefits we outlined in this article.
While we’re all hoping for the promised end to this tumultuous period, the trends which have arisen during it are unlikely to just be swept away as soon as it comes to an end. The future of work is now, but you still need to make sure you remain future-ready.
Outsourcing is definitely a great approach which will also come with significant long-term benefits if you’re able to find the right partner. If you happen to be looking for a development partner, learn more about the different ways of working with us:
or get in-touch with us and we can answer any further or specific questions you may have.